News‎ > ‎

Google Visits Kingsley Academy

Afraz, a sixth former, had an opportunity to trial the system and said, "It was good, it is interesting, it opened up a whole number of opportunities and possibilities, it brought the outside world into our classroom."

Ana Year 10 said, "I think it was cool that you could see 360 degrees without actually being in the place."

Nola Year 10 said,  "I thought it was great because you could see the different places without actually being there."

Egidijus Year 7 said, "It was amazing, one of the best apps I've seen. Best thing Google has ever made. This will be useful in the classroom."

Csanad Year 7 said, "This will be useful in Geography. I also think it is one of the best apps Google has made. It just like a game app which makes it feel like a game and it makes you feel like you are in the environment, which is why it appeals to our age group."

Sonny Year 7 said, "It's better than Google+.  Really good app for learning and it was fun using it.  It will make lessons more interesting and will encourage learning more."

On Friday 9th October 2015, Kingsley Academy had the special pleasure of a visit from Google. Our trainer, 
Andre, demonstrated to some lucky year 7, 8 and 10 students a new tool that may soon be coming to schools.

Google Expeditions is a virtual reality (VR) app developed by Google for use with a fold-out cardboard viewer which holds a mobile phone. It is intended as a low-cost system to encourage interest and development in VR and VR applications. 

The app
Expeditions 'trips' are accessed and viewed via the Expeditions app which allows a teacher to choose a location and lead a group of students on a virtual field-trip. Within the app, students are able to view the scene around 360 degrees, making note of highlighted specific points of interest. Teachers are able to pause the trip at any time to allow for discussion. Playing audio relating to the scene can make the experience even more immersive. 

The hardware
While Expeditions can be used on devices already in the classroom, they come alive with Google Cardboard, the easy-to-assemble viewer. Our pilot kit contained all of the hardware needed to experience Expeditions in full virtual reality — a tablet for the teacher, VR Cardboard viewers for each student, a computer speaker to provide ambient sounds and a durable box to transport, charge, and store all the electronics. As many schools don’t have great Internet service (or any at all), we built Expeditions to work without it. Our kit included a router that allows Expeditions to run over its own local wi-fi network, so there is no buffering, no dropped connections or lengthy loading times. 

Google utilized smartphones with Google Cardboard, syncing the phones with an iPad which was running Expeditions.  Students had the opportunity to explore places such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Sahara Desert, Antarctica, and see sharks up close and personal.

The students were delighted to be able to experience these locations using Google Cardboard and Expeditions. The experience allowed students to feel like they were actually in these places. It was an amazing afternoon.